It is Christmas day 2020 and the magnificent voices of Il Volo rise in Piazza PIO XII, in front of the splendor of the Vatican and St. Peter’s Square.
Let’s enjoy this beautiful Christmas show.
What can I say . . . Epiphany is far away but three princes have arrived in Rome.
A riot of voices and elegance, Piero, Gianluca and Ignazio sang three great Christmas classics with ardor and skill.
Superb performance that warms our hearts so much in this difficult year.
Here are their words:
GIAN = Good evening, on this very special day, in which, even if we are close, we are forced to stay away, we wanted to find a way to wish you a Merry Christmas.
IGNA = We did it in the way that best represents us, with music, in this extraordinary square, where it seems to be surrounded by two welcoming arms.
PIERO = The hope is that Christmas with its magic can bring a smile to your homes and warm your hearts. For our part, we will dedicate to you, every note and every word, of this Holy night.
GIAN = Merry Christmas.
IGNA = Happy New Year
PIERO = Good Life, from Il Volo and RAI 1.
But now I want to reveal something about the background of this beautiful event.
The video, directed by RAI, was recorded in the late evening of December 19th.
The square has already been prepared since the evening of the 18th.
On the 19th at 8 pm, Piero Ignazio and Gianluca arrived. First they underwent the rehearsals and then the final recording which was broadcast by RAI 1, the Italian national channel.
It was really very cold and to do the recording we saw, the guys were in the cold from 8pm until midnight. The cold was bitter and you can tell from the photos of the rehearsal.
The event was attended too by a good photographer, Giorgio Algherini, who took magnificent photos documenting the event. His photos have been around the world, but it is worth thinking about seeing them again!
(Click on each photo below to view a larger version.)
And this short video of the rehearsal.
When I saw these photos, I immediately went to the Facebook page of the photographer Algherini and I immediately noticed his nice comment :
“Nothing to add, only esteem for these guys.”
At this point I wanted to know something more, I contacted him and asked him if he had already had the opportunity to personally know Il Volo, and here is what he replied:
“I was very impressed by the guys, very simple but very professional, I had already seen them at a Clerici program, fantastic, unfortunately I have never attended one of their concerts but I promise that I will go to the next one.”
So I complimented him on his photos and told him they would go around the world.
Perhaps he did not know the potential of Volofamily, in fact after a few days he published this thanks:
“A very special thank you as 2021 will be very special for all of you groups and private fans of IL VOLO that had shared my photos and the small clip around the world, even today a share has arrived from Japan that I thank even more, I knew that the three boys were famous, but not so in world-wide!
A hug, thanks again.”
Well, Giorgio Algherini, congratulations on your work and we look forward to seeing you at a concert and you will further realize the skill of Il Volo and the affection they enjoy from all over the world.
Naturally, the Italian newspapers also talked about the event and Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca, each from their Facebook pages, have posted this message:
On the evening of December 25th on Rai1official, we will sing in Piazza Pio XII, three wonderful Christmas classics.
An idea born because the Christmas we will experience this year will inevitably be different and we wanted to find a way to wish everyone happy holidays.
The splendid square that will be the setting for our exhibition will make the atmosphere even more suggestive and enchanted and we can’t wait to share it with you!
Here are a few more moments of the rehearsals registered by Giorgio Griego.
and then again …
It was a really good moment, too bad it’s already over. After a long time, we enjoyed hearing their beautiful voices, especially at such a meaningful moment.
But how long will we still have to wait before we can still rejoice together during their beautiful concerts?
Piero Ignazio and Gianluca wanted to greet us with a comforting message, here it is.
GIAN= Hello friends from Verona.
IGNA = We should have seen each other in 2020, but we are ready to bring you a lot more music in 2021.
PIERO= See you soon: Happy Holidays.
Thanks to Il Volo for this beautiful Christmas gift.
As I have already said, three princes have arrived in Rome and have given us the gold of their voices.
And thanks also for the nice final message you gave us, I’ll be there at the Arena and with me many Volo-friends !!
See you soon ❤❤❤
“The day will come when in the inside pocket of a jacket, inside the inside pocket of a bag or in the glove compartment of the car we will find, forgotten, a crumpled old mask.
Looking at her we will rub it in our hands how to make sure that I really lived that long nightmare.
As we close our hands, crumple those distant memories, we will breathe deeply free to emphasize ourselves how beautiful life is.”❤️
Yes, Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca are our family! Why do I call them family? We’re their fans, yes, but, we are more than fans. We certainly do all the things that fans do but it goes deeper than that because our guys are different than other entertainers. The difference is the guys think of us as their extended family. Why? Very simply because they grew up with us. They spend more time with us than they do with their families. And they show us their love in everything they do. Think of how they treat us! When you meet them they embrace you. Most entertainers just want your praise and accolades. Not our guys! They want to know about us! They ask about our lives and our families. They listen to us and do things to please us. And think about how you spent your last nine months listening to their music and feeling secure with every song! So what is family? Family are the people who are there when you need them. When you’re sad you can always feel their love and their encouragement! Family is not just blood it’s the people who are there for us!
So let’s take a look at how our Italian family spends their Christmas.
The Christmas season starts in Italy on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary which is also a holiday in Italy. This is the day that many Italians put up their Christmas trees and the cities light up their streets with colored lights. Why? Because Mary is the mother of the Light, Jesus! But there are other traditions that are celebrated on this day!
Let’s go to Naro, Piero’s city, to see how they celebrate the Christmas season.
Every year, on the 7th, 8th and 9th of December, every inhabitant in Naro stocks up on muffuletti. Muffuletti is a bread which is stuffed with meat and vegetables. Some people go to their local baker to buy them and some people prepare them at home. The tradition is linked to religion. Naro’s sandwiches are blessed and distributed in Churches at the end of the Mass on the feast day of the Immaculate Conception. The bakers donate the muffuletti to the Churches as a gesture of generosity towards their fellow countrymen but, above all, of love towards “a bedda matri ‘Mmaculata”, the Most Holy Immaculate.
During the month of December, the Christmas markets are held in Naro. The Fair is set up inside the cloister of the Town Hall. Many people go to the Franciscan cloister where, every evening, to the delight of the children, there is a special snowfall that whitens the baroque courtyard. On the final evening there is a concert of Sicilian folk music and an award is given for the best photo taken at the large Christmas tree in Piazza Garibaldi.
During this magical period the streets are colored by many Christmas lights and everyone visits the living nativity scene of Borgo Castello. There is Mass on Christmas Eve and between hugs, kisses and best wishes there are a thousand good intentions. And then, on Christmas day, the family gathers together for a dinner laden with many local delicacies.
And what would Piero do on Christmas day? Most likely, he will walk around Naro and visit some older people and his friends. He certainly would have decorated his home so I’m sure he will make a video for all of us to see. He will most likely sing at the Christmas Eve or Christmas Day Mass. And I’m sure he will spend time singing with his grandfather, Pietro. Most importantly, he will spend the day with his family!
Christmas in Bologna! How does Ignazio celebrate Christmas?
Unlike Piero and Gianluca, Ignazio and his family live in a big city and like cities in America there are many events.
The Christmas tradition in Bologna has deep roots. The Bolognese Nativity Scene (Presepe) goes back to the middle ages. The tradition of the Presepe dates back to the 13th century and one of the oldest Presepe in the world is preserved in Bologna. What makes the Bolognese Nativity different? It is life size and includes clothes that are different from the traditional Neapolitan style. They are dressed in a medieval style. In Porretta Terme in the Emilian Apennines another Presepe which is one of the oldest Presepe in the world is kept in the church of Capugnano.
I’m sure Ignazio will visit the Christmas Tree in Piazza Nettuno. It is a Bolognese tradition. The beautiful tree is a welcoming and bright place to meet friends and feel the warmth of Christmas.
So, what will Ignazio’s family eat on Christmas? I’m sure on Christmas Eve there will be fish on the table. This is the tradition in every Italian house on “La Vigilia,” Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day, there is another tradition. Lunch is the main meal and Pasta in brodo (pasta in broth) will certainly be served. In Bologna, it’s all about meat-filled tortellini in capon broth. These, small, ravioli, are filled with a mixture of meat, mortadella and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese but you will find in Bologna every family has its secret ingredient for them. You’ll recall in a recent interview, Ignazio mentioned his family buying Tortellini every Sunday.
The soup will most likely be followed by a roast and the meal will end with a traditional dessert like Certosino (or Pan speziale) which is made with almonds, pine nuts, dark chocolate and candied fruits. The recipe has its origin in the Middle Ages where Certosino was produced by pharmacists and later by Certosini Friars. Certosino is very popular in Bologna.
Having said this, I will say, since Ignazio is vegan, there are certain parts of this meal he won’t eat. He will certainly eat the dessert! What I do know is by tradition, Ignazio will join his family to celebrate Christmas Day!
So what will Gianluca do on Christmas?
A Montepagano tradition is the Nativity scene. At the end of the last century a famous living Nativity play was started in Montepagano which is a real theatrical performance, with a director and a narrator.
In the Abruzzi region, there is a tradition that bagpipers, so called zampognari come into the towns and play their flutes and bagpipes for the people. They symbolize the shepherds who come in search of the new born baby, Jesus. The bagpipers were once shepherds, today they are musicians who walk the streets of the cities, playing Christmas music. Often they are in pairs and one plays the zampognari (bagpipe) and the other the ciaramella (which is similar to a small piccolo).
For certain Gianluca will celebrate December 24th, Christmas Eve with a meal of fish including shellfish because he lives by the sea. As far as food traditions are concerned, on Christmas Day, the typical dish of the whole region of Abruzzo is spaghetti alla chitarra (which is prepared on a particular instrument called a guitar, because it is made of wood with metal strings) but most likely Gianluca will eat Lasagna. The second course will be arrosticini, which are pieces of meat, traditionally lamb, strung on long sticks, similar to a kebab. And for dessert, they will most likely have the traditional Christmas cake, Panettone.
Gianluca will surely spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with his family including his Grandpa Ernesto!
If you’re wondering where Santa Claus is, in Italy he is known as “Babbo Natale,” Father Christmas,who brings presents to children on Christmas Eve but, in true Italian style, gifts are exchanged on January 6th the day of Epiphany when La Befana comes to Italian homes in search of the Christ Child and leaves gifts for the children. This is a tradition that is celebrated in the central regions of Italy. La Befana is an old woman, with a hooked nose, badly dressed, with a handkerchief on her head, grumpy but good, she is not a witch. On January 6th, riding through the sky, flying on a broom, La Befana lands on the roofs, enters the houses from the chimneys and descends from the fireplace, leaving gifts and sweets in the big socks that the children place in front of the fireplace. If they were good, they get sweets. If they were bad, she leaves coal in the form of a sweet black candy. I’m sure there will be many sweets for Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca!
I would like to mention an important member of Il Volo’s family. Michele Torpedine! His family is originally from the region of Puglia. He moved to Bologna when he was twelve years old. So he will celebrate Christmas with his family and the celebration would be similar to Ignazio’s!
I would like to thank two people who contributed to this Christmas story. Maura PucciandGiovanni Granaro. Their knowledge of the regions of Montepagano and Naro and the different Christmas traditions made this story come to life!
In closing, I would like to thank two ladies who make all my stories come to life! Daniela Perani(a/k/a Sherlock Holmes) who is my second pair of eyes and provides all the photos and videos for my stories and Patricia Ward who does the layouts and final uploads for the stories.
I want to wish all of my Christian friends a Merry Christmas and all my Jewish friends a Happy Chanukah! And all my other friends, All the Happiness and Joy of the Season!
And finally I’m sure you will join me in wishing Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca and their families a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year with many Concerts!
Begin with the speech of the defense minister Elisabetta Trenta.
“Hi guys (she turns to the military) , tonight, I had to be with you, but I can not, because I’m here in Afghanistan with your colleagues, here behind me, and they greet you with me.
I take this opportunity to give you many Christmas greetings, to wish your families best wishes, to bring you my greetings, greetings from the government and the whole country.
Thank you for what you do, thanks to your families who, perhaps, will look at us right now, thanks to everyone and, very soon.
The guys are picked up at the airport as they leave for Lebanon. (in the background you can hear My Way)
and on their arrival received by the military.
On the bus to the base, Captain Gianluca Rosa explains that they are approaching the base near Shama, about 10 km from the Israeli border.
At the Millevoi base, they are welcomed with these nice words:
“I welcome you on behalf of everyone, it is an immense joy to have you here, when a piece of Italy comes here, makes us less distant from home, not just for me, but for everyone”
G = It will be an adventure that we will certainly tell, first of all to our families, but then also to our children and grandchildren.
To Gianluca, Piero and Ignazio are assigned a room like those of real soldiers.
The following morning they witness the raising of the flag and the singing of the Italian anthem. (very moving)
Welcome is given with applause to Ignazio, Piero and Gianluca de IL VOLO.
P = Beautiful
Military = For us it is the most significant moment of the day.
I = I have to say that behind me I heard people in tune.
P = Behind me, a little less !!
From the theater of Tiro, White Christmas.
The guys go to visit the souk, the typical Arab market.
The mission of the blue helmets is explained to the guys.
The blue helmets must be impartial towards the people, they must understand and deepen the knowledge of the people of those places in order to have their trust.
From the canteen of the military: Santa Claus is coming to town.
Ignazio = I was born in Bologna from a Sicilian family, I always lived Christmas as a return to Sicily to my grandparents and uncles, then, the true spirit of Christmas, I’ve been feeling it now in recent years, since we started traveling, is the only time of year, Christmas, more beautiful, because we can return home to families, I personally to my sister, that I, I hardly ever see.
Piero Ignazio and Gianluca then visit the archaeological site of Al Bas di Tiro, of Roman and Byzantine culture.
Gianluca = At Christmas I always sang in church, I sang the Ave Maria and Panis Angelicus. My grandfather very happy in the front row, even the parish priest of the village, because I live in Montepagano, a small town near the sea, in Roseto degli Abruzzi, so we all know each other and as a child they knew me as the singer of the country, we are a big family in my little country.
This is nice, because everyone loves me and I love everyone, as when I go out in the morning to have coffee at the bar, even Christmas is wonderful because everyone gathered in the square and we celebrate Christmas together as a big family.
From the theater of Tiro,Silent Night.
The boys are made to wear a blue helmet, symbol of military in peace action UN.
Piero and Gianluca enter a tank.
Ignazio explains the function of the automatic defensive turret.
I = It is a beautiful responsibility and a great tension every time you use a vehicle of this type, of course it is your job, but behind it there is a series of sacrifices and study.
From the canteen of the military:Christmas Medley.
Ignazio asks the commander what UNIFIL means.
The general of division Stefano Del Col explains that UNIFIL is very important because for 12 years it is the guarantor of peace in the area, controls and recalls those who border and guarantees that the borders are controlled.
It includes 43 nations, 10,500 peacekeepers and 1,000 civilians.
The blue bins delimit the dividing line and are spread over 120 km and guarantee a strip of peace.
Ignazio says that they are honored to have been part of the story in the few days they stayed in Lebanon.
Piero thanks the general for dedicating part of his time to them.
The general thanks IL VOLO for bringing a piece of Italy in this Middle Eastern context. Together they wish Merry Christmas.
From the theater of Tiro and from the canteen of the military: Grande Amore.
The guys visit the helicopter hangar and get on one of them. (in the background you can hear IL Mondo)
There are always two helicopters ready for any mission.
P = Today, as soon as you breathe Christmas air, you breathe the air of home, because fortunately for the work we do, we turn a lot, we are hardly ever at home, but Christmas is a must return, also because our families have separated, some cousins have left for abroad. Unfortunately in Sicily there are not so many job opportunities and some have been forced to leave home. So Christmas is a moment of recollection for everyone, I can only think of a “moment of joy”.
From the canteen of the military: Smile.
From the theater of Tiro: Adeste Fideles.
Piero, Ignazio and Gianluca, sing, in the canteen of the military, along with the children who were orphaned, and who now live in the military base.
I = Today we sang with the children, a Christmas song. Even more beautiful, it was hear them sing in Italian.
P = This morning, singing along with those “magic” children, was a set of indescribable chills.
G= Today we had the great privilege to sing along with some children who unfortunately were orphaned because of the war. That gave us an even stronger emotion and it was really moving.
From the theater of Tiro: O Holy Night.
A moment of leisure, a game of football in the military base.
And Jingle Bells played with Arabian atmosphere.
From the canteen of the military : ’O Surdato Nnammurato.
From the theater of Tiro: Volare (Nel Blu dipinto di blu).
P = For us it was a very special Christmas, we hope to have given you a smile.
I = Special because … starting from playing soccer with the children, doing crazy experiences inside a tank, by helicopter, letting us explain the life of these soldiers. Everything was exciting.
G = Also because these experiences make you a better person, enrich the soul, and we can say that, despite our different characters, this experience has united us three even more.
I = Being here, has made us more proud of being Italian.
P = Now is the time of the good wishes, from Il Volo …
PIG = Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Torpedine = The next event will be in Panama, at the end of January, on the World Youth Day, the meeting with the Pope. We hope to travel with him and sing the Ave Maria during the Pope’s Mass.
Here are the guys with the RAI troupe who followed them in Lebanon.
Still some beautiful shots.
This program has thrilled me so much, I was very proud of my “Italian being”.
These guys are really UNIQUE, immense treasures, sensitive, educated, humble and good.
The idea of the program was Torpedine’s and I must say, honor of merit, he always has some brilliant ideas.
The topics were treated in a delicate way and the songs were followed with such sweetness and involvement.
The latest news given by Torpedine, the presence of the boys at World Youth Day, where they will sing before the Pope was another twist, another step that makes me even more proud of them.
2019 will be a very intense year indeed.
But no fear will come on tour in America, wait and see!
Of course, despite VOCI DI NATALE was broadcast on RAI 1 at 11.00 pm, you must know that it has made the record of ratings !!!! News that makes us even happier.
We thank Il Volo Sicilia for the photos and Il Volo Mundial (Oficial) for the Facebook video.
My wish is that you can spend a beautiful and serene day, surrounded by the affection of your loved ones, reviewing in your thoughts of those no longer with us ….. cheering the whole, with beautiful songs of our sweet PIERO, IGNAZIO and GIANLUCA .
GREETINGS TO EVERYONE FROM THE DEEP OF THE HEART
These days many pages have published many fan art or collage, concerning Christmas and our guys, I enjoyed gathering them all, they are many and all beautiful, have fun watching them.
Jeannette also found some very funny videos, which made me laugh a lot, thanks Jeannette.
Twas a few days after Christmas and all through the house, things still littered the floor and clattered about. Gifts that were so carefully wrapped under the tree; their wrappings and ribbons hang from the trash aimlessly. We look around and see all of our presents; some we still have, and some yet to be sent. We’ve met with family and friends, on the Eve and the Day, with great hopes for the new year, that will come our way. Santa’s back at the north pole, all snug in his bed; while all the credit card bills, dance in our head. Another year has almost past; let’s hope yours, was a blast!
Our guys did not fail us this year, for they were better than we could have hoped for. We traveled the world over, even to their door. Whether Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, or some other country, we were greeted with kindness, smiles, and hugs; and meet/greets from OMG!
The guys seem all happy at home for now… Gianluca sending us pictures of him playing games with the family and friends, Piero at home with his Christmas tree and pics of his family and friends. It appears Ignazio has sent us picture of him and Franz, having fun with a hula hoop, gone shopping for some new threads and a haircut. I hope this new tailor fits him right!
What lies ahead for the guys? We know their new album will be coming out likely in a few months. Of course, we are all hoping they will do a concert somewhere near us? Their movie, Un Amore Cosi Grande should be coming out in February some time I think? If Igna’s getting new clothes, maybe they are planning something? Knowing our guys, they will quickly be bored and looking for something else to do. I’m sure Barbara keeps them on their toes.
Here are some pictures of the last few days, just in case you missed them!
Thank you to Lisa Joy – where I snagged these pics! 🙂
Be safe in all the cold and snow if it is where you live! Enjoy the rest of this week if you are off and be joyous you have a job, if you have to work! 🙂
Come in and share the love of life, friends and Il Volo!